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10 to Note: Winter Preview 2012-13

Sometimes you see a book and go…

What follows are the books coming out in December, January, and February that made me do that.

Picture Books

Doug Unplugged by Dan Yaccarino

February 12 | Knopf | Grades K-3

Is ditching technology for real life an emerging children’s lit trend? 2012 standout hello! hello! nicely builds on that theme, and now Dan Yaccarino enters the scene with a book about a boy robot who goes off the grid in search of something more.

Open This Little Book by Jesse Klausmeier; illustrated by Suzy Lee

January 2 | Chronicle Books | Grades PreK-2

If you’re talking beautiful, unique picture books, you should know the name Suzy Lee. Her Wave and Shadow both ended up on the New York Times Best Illustrated lists. This team-up with debut author Klausmeier might take the unique cake – a book within a book within a book that begins to make sense when you see a picture of the thing:

This looks like fun.

Want to Be in a Band? by Suzzy Roche, Giselle Potter

February 12 | Schwartz & Wade (Random House) | PreK-3

A guide for the aspiring musicians out there. Want to Be in a Band? is based on the author’s true story of starting a band with her sisters.


It’s Our Garden : From Seeds to Harvest in a School Garden by George Ancona

January 8 | Candlewick Press | Grades K-3

Times change, years pass, and kids are still growing stuff at school. This book looks at one school and their thriving garden. I could see teachers getting on board with this one.

Henry and the Cannons : An Extraordinary True Story of the American Revolution by Don Brown

January 22 | Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan) | Grades K-2

Telling the amazing (and true) American Revolution story of how Henry Knox dragged 59 cannons 225 miles to Boston, this looks like a nonfiction winner. Plus, it has one of the best covers of the season.

My First Day by Robin Page; illustrated by Steve Jenkins

January 8 | Houghton Mifflin | Grades K-3

Just when you think the well is dry on animal nonfiction, this book arrives. Steve Jenkins and Robin Page team up to show what various animals accomplish on their first day of life.


Stick Dog by Tom Watson

January 8 | HarperCollins | 3-7

Tom Watson began by self publishing Stick Dog e-books before HarperCollins took notice and gave him a book deal. With the tagline “a really good story with kind of bad drawings”, I’m predicting goofy laughs.


Follow Follow : A Book of Reverso Poems by Marilyn Singer, Josee Masse

February 7 | Dial (Random House) | Grades 1 and Up

Remember Mirror Mirror? That 2010 poetry collection made a lot of noise for introducing the reverso poem to the world. This follow-up stays in the same lane, with more poems that work forward and backward.

Graphic Novels

Ariol #1: Just a Donkey Like You and Me by Emmanuel Guibert, Marc Boutavant

February 19 | Papercutz | Grades 2-5

Who’s up for a European graphic novel import? This series from the author of Sardine in Outer Space is making lots of kids happy in France. Here’s guessing it might have the same effect stateside.

Chickenhare by Chris Grine

February 1 | Graphix (Scholastic) | Grades 3-6

While not a brand new character, I’m guessing Chickenhare will be new to most readers. Darkhorse Comics published the first Chickenhare graphic novelsĀ  (nominated for an Eisner Award) in 2006 and 2008. Now Scholastic’s Graphix has picked up the character for another installment. Bone fans beware.

Look for 10 to Note: Spring Preview 2013 coming in February.

(Top image “Silent Days” http://flic.kr/p/9ZrSS1)

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. intriguing list. thanks!

  2. Love this list especially keeping my eyes out for the graphic novels for my son!